As the Years Pass, Life Gets Sweeter
Like many people, I was always a reflective type. I liked to think deeply about all matters of life. Yet as the years go by, I’ve noticed the ever-changing form the reflections have taken. When I was young, my reflections had a slightly sharper tone. It’s not that the content of the thoughts have changed much, but rather my relationship with those thoughts has softened. There is a greater appreciation for the delicacy of the nature of things. This includes the delicacy of those people I know and those I don’t know, those with whom I have a close personal relationship and those I do not. When it comes to conflict, it just feels natural to let it go and let bygones be bygones. What difference does it really make?
As my desire for heartfelt communication has grown, I have come to understand how much cannot be shared or communicated to the degree I would like. My love for others, and for life itself, becomes ever more tender, and ever more important to the theme of my existence. I even enjoy the sweetness of knowing that the finest and most tender feelings and thoughts cannot be shared. They are just too delicate, too subtle, too fragile to express through words. It is as if life cannot be held in the palm of one’s hand.
Time too begins to slip through my fingers. Only so much of life can be experienced. Only so much can be shared. My children are growing up so quickly. Moments that before seemed mechanical and even laborious, are now remembered with fondness and even regret that they weren’t enjoyed more fully and held more closely to my heart.
Much of what I’ve learned about myself has been enhanced through the observation of people in other age groups. The behavior and mentality of teenagers is pretty much a physiological thing that I too experienced at that age. It’s a time of individuation, self-actualization, and self-proclamation of their own free thinking and autonomy in the world. In many ways, they feel they know better than (fill in the blank).
Middle age is a time of empowerment. You are an adult, a co-constructor of the world around you, meeting others while standing on the solid platform of your own inalienable rights. It is a time of creativity, productivity, and manifesting your vision. You become all you can be and do your best to live your life’s purpose.
In contrast, now that I’m older, I’m more humble in my relationship with this world. I’ve come to appreciate how much more attentively life must be held. I am but one being navigating through the ocean of so many personalities, viewpoints, convictions, and life paths upon which I have minimal influence. Perhaps the greatest influence I may have is more through my whisper and demeanor than the loudly spoken word.
To say what I’ve learned in a word is “love.” A love for the subtle sublime nature of this world. A love for the people in my life. A love for all people, for all animals, and for all of life. For me now, even knowledge has merged with love. Knowledge is a facet of the diamond of love. I long to share my knowledge for the benefit and betterment of all humanity, and of all beings. I know not what the future may hold, but I strive to assist the flow of life with the care and delicacy it requires.
Dr. Michael Mamas is the founder of The Center of Rational Spirituality, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the integration of ancient spiritual wisdom with modern rational thought. From personal issues to global trends, Dr. Michael Mamas helps individuals and organizations develop a deeper understanding and more comprehensive outlook by providing a ‘bridge’ between the abstract and concrete, the Eastern and Western, and the ancient and modern. Dr. Michael Mamas has been teaching for 35 years (including in the U.S., India, Europe, and Canada) and writes on a variety of subjects on his blogs, MichaelMamas.net and RationalSpirituality.org. He is a frequent contributor to HuffingtonPost.com and Entrepreneur.com.